Project of earthquake early warning system for Armenia

S. Yu Balassanian, Artak H. Martirosyan, Valery G. Arzoumanian
National Survey for Seismic Protection of the Republic of Armenia (NSSP), Davidashen-Massiv-4, 375 054, Yerevan, Armenia.
Tel. : +374-2-282811,
E-mail: balassan@nssp.yerphi.am

After the catastrophic Spitak earthquake of 1988 it became clear that the level of seismic resistance of buildings and structures in Armenia is much lower than that required accordingly to the level of the seismic hazard. Under these conditions, a project for establishing a system of early warning of the population in case of earthquakes with M≥5,5 becomes an important element of seismic risk mitigation for the territory of Armenia.

The project worked out by the NSSP includes creation of an early warning system which should provide warnings about possible destructive earthquakes around the capital of Armenia (Yerevan city), where 40% of the Republic’s population is concentrated, the other most densely populated towns, as well as around the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant. On the basis of the worked out project is the physical fact that the time of arrival of a devastating transverse wave from known sources of strong earthquakes on the territory of Armenia and adjacent countries to Yerevan city, other large populated sites and communication facilities is equal to 8 sec (at 10 km) to 17 sec (at 50 km). The early warning of the population, 8–17 seconds before the devastating seismic waves arrive, is possible on the basis of existing local telemetric seismic networks of the NSSP RA established around all the objects mentioned above.

The detailed description of the elaborated system, as well as the analysis of the mitigation of losses at different scenarios typical for earthquakes in Armenia, is presented in the paper.